In order to move forward in life, it necessitates a harmonious relationship between independence and interdependence. There are many varying perspectives on freedom and independence within our culture but one truth that we have come to realize as we walk alongside our guests at ANEW Place is that true freedom means becoming free of the things that have held us down in the past and feeling confident and hopeful about the future.
Becoming independent from our past requires becoming more open and connected to those helping us walk into our hopeful future.
Our guests at ANEW are part of a beautiful interdependency where everyone is working towards their own independence but they are doing so in a context of dependence, a context of community. There’s a beauty in the messiness of community. And it really is an honor to be part of our guests’ journeys toward freedom.
According to Brené Brown:
“You can acquire and accumulate and accomplish with independence, but you love and live with need. You can’t belong without dependence.” When talking about her children, she says
“I want them to be independent and on their own and know their own free will and their own free choice and I want them to know that all of those things mean nothing if they don’t need or they’re not needed. We don’t have to do it by ourselves. We weren’t meant to.”
The same holds true for our brave guests at ANEW. No one has to do it alone or live this life by themselves. We were created to belong and to long for that sense of belonging. While our culture tells us that independence is the ability to stand alone, what we truly crave is actually interdependence, the need to stand together.
We want to encourage our guests to embrace the idea of interdependence as a necessary, unavoidable, beautiful way of life.
We want to celebrate our guests when they find the courage to reach out when they need help. We want them to simply be human, to be given the permission to fail with grace (since learning makes lots of mistakes) and to be compassionate to those who are still finding the balance between independence and interdependence.
On this Independence Day, we honor our men and women in uniform, protecting all of us from threats. We congratulate the educators in our lives for bringing up a new generation of critical thinkers. We thank the medical professionals for keeping us healthy. We appreciate our local farmer for keeping us fed. We are grateful for our neighborhood non-profits for filling unmet needs in our community. We acknowledge our families for their support. And we recognize the courage it takes to ask for help when you need it.
For everyone to find freedom, it requires that we trust each other and work together to invest in each others’ freedom.
Independence Day in the United States is a joyous, celebrated holiday where we proclaim how proud we are to be a part of a country where we can stand together as an independent nation yet, completely dependent on each other. For this year’s Independence Day, ANEW decided that it would be a good opportunity to explore the idea of freedom and independence with our guests. ANEW Place will be posting images on our social media containing messages and thoughts on freedom and independence from our guests and other inspiring citizens.
We encourage you on this Independence Day to invest in the freedom of our guests by investing in their stories as they journey towards their new beginnings.
“All of the things that we gain from independence have zero meaning without need. Needing each other – being needed and needing – is what gives everything that independence brings: success, achievement, meaning.”- Brené Brown